As much as I love Denmark for its sweet pastries, I miss Germany for its savory ones. I realized this when I had an sudden attack of craving for Laugenstangen and Käselaugenstangen (the ones covered with cheese) the other day. In Germany, you can get them in every bakery, even in some supermarkets, so I felt really constrained when I couldn’t get one here in Copenhagen. The only solution – bake them myself 😉 So, I did, and they turned out to be perfect! The crispy, salty surface with the fluffy dough inside, what is not to love about this kind of baked goods? To me, Laugenstangen are perfect for a small lunch break, when you are a little hungry but don’t really want to eat a full meal.
I found the recipe on the German recipe sharing forum chefkoch.de, and I was surprised by how easy it is to bake this kind of pretzel breadsticks. Furthermore, it is way cheaper to bake them yourself, since there are no expensive ingredients involved and you can bake an entire sheet, freeze them and eat the rest in the course of the rest of the month 🙂 You can find a tip on how to defrost them below the recipe. I will definitely bake another sheet soon!
Ingredients (gives 12 sticks):
1 kg wheat flour
260 ml water
260 ml milk
150 g butter
50 g fresh yeast
2 tsp salt
2 l water
4 tsp baking soda
large grained salt
100 g grated cheese
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Heat up the water on the stove, melt the butter in the water. Take off the heat and add the cold milk. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm butter milk mixture and add it to the flour. Knead thoroughly for about 15 minutes to get a smooth, firm dough. Cover the bowl with a sheet and let rest at a warm place for about 45 minutes.
When it has roughly doubled in size, knead the dough again and divide it into 12 pieces of equal size. Roll the pieces to ovals and roll them lengthwise up to sticks. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Bring the water to the boil in a pot of at least 25 cm diameter. When it’s boiling add the baking soda (be careful, it can foam) and 2 tsp of salt. Put the sticks piece by piece into the salt solution. As soon as they swim on the surface (after ca 5-10 seconds), take them out the water and place on a baking sheet that is covered with baking parchment.
Cut half of the sticks lengthwise and bend them apart. Fill these bars with the grated cheese. Add small diagonal cuts to the other half of the sticks. Sprinkle everything with a lot of large grained salt and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Let them cool down, and eat as fresh as possible.
Tip: Unfortunately, pretzel breadsticks loose their crisp very quickly. If you want to prepare 12 sticks but cannot eat them at once, put the baked sticks in the freezer. Whenever you want to eat one, defrost it in the oven at 160°C for about 10 minutes. This way they will keep the crispy surface 🙂